Australia and online pokies have a love-hate relationship. While Aussies play online pokies more than anyone else, the government has deemed them illegal. Physical casinos and hotels are the only licensed pokies sites Down Under, regulated by several gambling bodies.
Still, despite the crackdown on online gambling by the Government through legislation introduced in 2001, online casinos are well and proud in Oziland. Millions of Australians join offshore online casinos that welcome them with thousands in AUD bonuses to play real money pokies. But is this safe? Are there safeguards in offshore pokies sites? We will answer these questions and many more in the following blog.
Safe & Legal Online Pokies Australia
Join any of the above pokies sites to play for real money without worrying about your money. Offshore doesn’t mean unregulated, at least in the case of the online casinos above. We have vetted all operators against several factors, ensuring you will get the best online gambling experience. Access 5,000+ real money pokies from Australia in each operator without worrying about legal ramifications or sharing bank or personal details.
How We Know An Online Pokies Site is Legal
The Australian Government has passed laws against online gambling; therefore, there isn’t a local iGaming authority to approve or disapprove operators. Politicians thought this would be enough to prevent online casinos from accepting Aussie players, but that’s far from reality. Thousands of online casinos target players Down Under exclusively since there is a massive demand for online pokies. Still, the question remains – how do we know a pokies site is safe and legal without an official iGaming body for our jurisdiction?
In essence, we act as the gaming authority, using our experience and judgment to review all areas surrounding each online pokies site to deem it legal or illegal. Since players do not face fines or any legal recourse for playing real money online pokies in Melbourne or elsewhere, we primarily strive to keep our readers safe when playing pokies online. Factors we take into account include:
📄 Official license – we always check for a Curacao, Costa Rica, or Canadian iGaming license when reviewing Aussie pokies sites. These are not the most robust gambling bodies but show that the operator went the extra mile to add legitimacy to their platform.
🎰 Gaming providers – aside from top pokies and table games, the developers of a casino indicate whether the operator offers fair and legit games. These companies get scrutinized by independent authorities for RTP and RNG. As such, when reputable providers license an operator, it is more likely to be legitimate.
💳 Banking methods – crypto casino deposits and Bitcoin banking are convenient, but we always check for additional regulated deposit and withdrawal options. Banks or serious eWallets won’t provide their services to 3rd tier pokies platforms.
📻 Word of mouth – player reviews and opinions of users are the best indicators of whether an offshore casino acts as if the strictest bodies regulate it. By checking sites like TrustPilot, Reddit, and other forums, we can form an objective opinion about an online pokies casino based on its players’ views.
📑 Terms and conditions – although none reads the fine print, we do. Even sketchy online casinos will try to legally scam players by implementing tricky terms within their ts and cs. We know what to look out for, and we report any predatory terms that could limit your pokies’ activity or winnings without any justification.
Are Online Pokies Legal in Australia?
The Interactive Act of 2001 prohibits all online gambling activities, including pokies, roulette, blackjack, and poker.
The Aussie Government thought this measure would limit the gambling habits of Australians, but it has failed based on the latest gambling statistics. Other countries, like the UK, The Netherlands, and Finland, chose to regulate gambling instead to provide a safe gaming environment that also adds revenue to their countries’ GDPs. The USA has also changed course since 2018, allowing each state to regulate online casinos as they see fit, by overturning its previous federal laws prohibiting all online gambling and sports betting options.
Australia is likely to follow the paradigm of the above examples, but for now, players cannot play Australian-licensed online pokies. Instead, they must rely on offshore gambling sites that cater to this market. The good news is that many companies are willing to risk their legitimacy and offer real money pokies, but the bad news is that several among them scam players who do not have anywhere to turn for support.
Since players are not subject to any legal punishment or fees for playing real money online pokies, we try to help the situation by pinpointing readers to the best pokies sites.
Our recommended operators are licensed, just not by the Australian Government. Still, they act as if they are subject to the strictest iGaming legislation.
How to Play Online Pokies Legally
Although there isn’t a 100% legal way to play pokies in Australia, the process to get started is relatively simple. First, it is essential to mention that you should avoid using any VPN. Instead, choose one of our recommended operators accepting Aussie players. Then, follow these steps to get started:
- After you click on our links and reach the casino’s homepage, click the sign-up button.
- Provide your full name, email, address, etc., accurately. You will need to verify your identity later by uploading a proof of identity, address, and bank statement.
- Visit the cashier section, select a banking option, and make a minimum casino deposit.
- Refresh the page and visit the pokies lobby.
- After you choose a pokies game, click play, and wait for the game to load. Set your stakes, adjust the paylines, and hit SPIN!
Since strict gambling bodies do not regulate pokies sites, they have the freedom to provide as impressive bonuses as they see fit. And yes, they do a great job – offering $500 no deposit bonus codes, 200% no deposit + 200 free spins, and other flashy offers.
Best Legal Online Pokies Real Money
So far, we have indicated the elements that matter when selecting the best pokies sites for our readers. We did briefly mention the importance of the gaming developers, but we can hardly emphasize this point enough.
An online casino powered by reputable iGaming companies can ensure a safe betting journey for players.
No rigged games or unfair payout holds! You spin, and the RNG will determine all outcomes, fair and square.
Unfortunately, some shady developers are running wild Down Under, powering hundreds of online casinos. Names we do not recommend for real money pokies include RealTime Gaming and Rival Gaming. Their games do not provide RTP details and are tied with the worst real money casinos.
Instead, when seeing NetEnt, Aristocrat, Evolution, Microgaming, Betsoft, Pragmatic Play, Booongo, Bgaming, NoLimit City, Konami, and other similar companies behind an online casino – then you know you can trust their licensed pokies. TST Labs and eCogra are a few of the companies that run tests on their software, not to mention the several local iGaming authorities that have approved them in legal markets.
Stay Safe While Playing Pokies Online
The above read must have cleared the air surrounding legal online pokies. On the one hand, these are not yet available in Australia, but you can opt-in for online pokies that are as good as they can ever be.
Finding a 100% legit pokies site will take time and effort, so you should instead rely on our advice. If you would instead do your own research, keep this checklist at hand:
- What do players say about the casino?
- Which companies power the online pokies?
- Does the casino payout winners?
- What banking methods are available?
- Does an iGaming body vouch for the operator?
- What’s the casino RTP, and is it available for public phishing?
- Is the site secure and encrypted?
- Can you play pokies with your phone?
- What bonuses are there, and do their terms look fair?
We sincerely hope online pokies are soon legalized and licensed in Australia so that players can easily spot safe gambling sites to play. On top of that, this would help establish gambling help and support for players, including self-exclusion and a ban on irresponsible gaming features.
Curacao pokies sites are the safest bet for now, as long as we vouch for their practices. Websites like Pokies.bet review operators daily, so never skip our new content before playing online pokies for money. Although not yet locally licensed, there are legit online pokies that you can play online without any worries.
- About the Author
- Affiliate Disclosure
Michael has reviewed and verified all information on this page. Having worked in the iGaming industry for over 8 years, he is the most capable person to help you navigate online casinos, pokies, and the Australian gambling landscape.